Amici, the best way to transport yourself to Italy no matter where you are is to live vicariously through the life of Elizabeth Minchilli, an author, blogger, tour guide, and Italian food expert living in Rome. For someone (meaning me) who would love to live in Rome (one day…a girl can dream) I enjoy starting my day checking in with her insta story to see what she is up to, which normally always involves food. 🙂 Whether she is deciding what to buy at the market, or showing one of her many food tours (her and her daughter tag team different food tours in both Rome and Umbria), or simply just sharing the beautiful streets of Rome, it is a fun way to get a “fix” of my favorite city.
Elizabeth has a number of wonderful books but my favorite is Eating My Way Through Italy. Each chapter focuses in on a different type of food, from the Balsamico of Modena, to Olive Oil in Umbria, or dried pasta in Gragnano and one of my favorite chapters, the “pasta making ladies of Bari.” It provides the history of each Italian specialty, how it is made, and why it is made the way it is. Each chapter will leave you with a new found appreciation of the artisans and culinary traditions of Italy while also making you VERY hungry. 😉 She also ends each chapter with recipes you can try at home.
One of the things I love most about this book is how in reading it, you feel like you are sharing a cozy conversation over an espresso or she has invited you into her home for a glass of wine. Each region and food she writes about is explained via storytelling, adding in personal experiences and anecdotes, making it a warm and personable read. It feels more like a conversation with a good friend than someone who lives half way around the world.
I brought this book on our honeymoon (while we were traveling through Italy, of course!) and while we were on the plane or train, I would stop to tell my husband what I was learning mid-read whether that was how Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale is made and qualifies to be true Balasamic or the rules for buying REAL Parmigiano Reggiano. It is a great resource that creates not only a newfound appreciation for the food culture of Italy but also the beautiful art form of Italy’s many food artisans.
The pages of Eating My Way Through Italy also contain gorgeous pictures of the places, regions, and food specialties Elizabeth writes about. Amazing inspiration for your next trip and one you will be planning not long after you finish reading the last chapter if not before.
I also recommend checking out Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City, which is a fantastic read whether you are traveling to Rome or are simply just interested in learning about the food culture of Rome. For more information on Elizabeth’s food tours or to read her blog, check out her website – http://www.elizabethminchilli.com/. Also, if you are traveling to Italy, a great resource is her app, Eat Italy on Itunes. Divertiti!
Elizabeth also has a new book coming out this Spring, March 2019 – The Italian Table – which you can pre-order. Looking forward to it!